Kurt Angle                        



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Do Your Best - Has Lo Major Que Puedas - Ganbate Kudasai

In The summer of 1996 Kurt Angle won the gold medal in the Olympic Games. I called information in Pittsburgh and got a number for him. I called just to talk to him and congratulate him. I reached his mother and spoke with her telling her how proud we all are of his accomplishment. I was impressed how nice she was, however, Kurt and I never connected.

In the spring of 1998, I was working for then WWF as head coach of the Funking Dojo wrestling training camp in Stamford Connecticut. I received the list of trainees for the third wrestling training camp. On the list was Olympic Gold Medalist, Kurt Angle. "Hey what a thrill to finally meet Kurt Angle."

I had trained Jumbo Tsuruta, a silver medalist, Anton Geesink a Judo Gold Medalist, Mark Henry Olympic Weight Lifter and Giant Silva an Olympic Basketball Player. I believed that real wrestlers and real athletes are important to the credibility of professional wrestling. My father was an amateur wrestler from Indiana University and he had insisted that I compete in amateur wrestling.

My first opportunity to meet Kurt Angle came in the gym on the 4th floor of Titan Tower. I was excited at the opportunity to meet him but of course I was going to be his Coach so I put on my serious face and entered the training center. Christian, Steve Corino, Chris Daniels, Rhino, Giant Silva, Steve Williams, Tiger Ali Sing, Taka Michinoku, Steven Regal, Crash Holly, Kurt Angle and others were there. It was easy to spot Kurt Angle, he had a big grin on his face.

Our routine was weights in the morning followed by in ring performance at the WWF studio in the afternoon.

Kurt couldn’t wait to get to the ring. He was happy to be there and loved training.

The first thing I told Kurt was that anything he did in amateur wrestling he could work into his professional wrestling career however, we would just modify it a little. Kurt throws the best pro fireman’s carriage in wrestling as does he the belly to belly suplex and the back suplex, German suplex, arm drag and single leg pickup. They are real wrestling moves modified for pro-wrestling.

Kurt loved to be in the ring and loved to learn about pro-wrestling. Kurt is an exceptional athlete. I was a fan and Coach of Kurt Angle and respected him so much for his accomplishments in amateur wrestling so you can imagine how good I felt after our first practice session when Kurt looked and me and said, “Hey Coach, this is a real sport, it‘s hard work, and I loved it.”

These are the words of Kurt Angle, 1996 Gold Medalist and, "Blue Chipper," in the WWF Funking Dojo. Kurt brings to professional wrestling all of the determination, courage, and skill that carried him to the Olympic Gold Medal.

From Kurt Angle:
I promised myself two things:
1. I'd train harder than ever in the two years leading up to the Olympics.
2. I wouldn't be afraid of failure or losing.
That was all that mattered to me. No more pressure. Just give my best!

It was intense, more intense than anything I had ever imagined. In the end, my hand was raised and victory was mine! I did it! And guess what? That's right, the emotional floodgates opened up and I cried!

I stood on the podium and received my Gold Medal, our country's national anthem providing the backdrop for my lifelong dream come true. I remember thinking that it was all worth it, that the hours of training, the sacrifices that I had made, in essence, everything I did to attain that moment would've been worth repeating all over again.

But guess what? Even if I hadn't won, it would've still been worth it. Because as I stood there proud, I looked at my family and saw in their eyes overwhelming love and sense of achievement for what I had accomplished, and said to myself, "They make life worth living." You see, with all due respect to former Green Bay Packers coaching great Vince Lombardi, winning isn't the only thing. It really isn't. It's whether you've given it your best shot. And not just during the match but in preparation for it, too. Did you train as hard as you could?

You'll find in life it's very much the same.
Don't worry about winning, just do your best and remember, don't quit! You, too, can have the time of your life!

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